Librarian Salary: How Much Do Librarians Make?

The average salary for librarians is $56,360, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, because of the fact that librarian job descriptions are extremely diverse today, there is naturally a lot of variance. There are numerous factors to take into account when determining the salary of a librarian, including:

  • Type of library (Salaries will vary depending on the setting, for example a public, academic, school, government or corporate library. Corporate and academic jobs often tend to have higher salaries than public and school, but you cannot make any definite generalizations without taking into account other factors.)
  • Job title/Primary job functions (Similarly, the main category of work, such as technical services, reference and instruction, cataloging and processing, or administration will also play a strong role in the salary level)
  • Level of education/experience (Most librarian positions require a master’s in Library and Information science, but many academic positions require a subject master’s, while other librarians have a JD, MBA or even a PhD. These advanced degrees will naturally command a higher salary for the librarian. Also, experience gained in previous library positions plays a major role in determining pay.)
  • Geography/Location (As is the case with just about any job, librarian salaries vary from state to state due to economic differences. In general, large metropolitan areas will have higher salaries than rural or less developed locations. For example, the same BLS report linked above lists the mean annual salary for Wyoming to be $43,600, and the District of Columbia to be $68,690.)

It is also important to remember that librarians are not the only ones who work in a library, and library assistants and technicians are not included in these statistics. Since the required education ranges from a high school diploma to a bachelor’s degree and their jobs are limited to specific tasks, the salary is significantly lower to that of a librarian.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that library assistants and technicians earn on average from $10.55 to $17.77

Future Employment Outlook for Librarians

Some predict that librarian employment will show growth in the next decade as a generation of librarians reaches retirement age. In addition, opportunities for librarians and information professionals with advanced specialized research skills and technical proficiencies are being recruited by more corporations and non-traditional library settings.

The job is be changing rapidly due to profound technological changes.  But even with the boom of information being published and distributed over the internet in electronic form, there will always be a need for skilled professionals to organize, evaluate and help others access it.

References:

Librarians. Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2010. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Online Access

Library Technicians and Library Assistants. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Online Access